The Exodus: Boils and Hail – Egypt Groans under the Plagues (Part 8)
By Pastor Hal Mayer
Welcome to Keep the Faith Ministry. Thank you for joining me as we study the impact of the increasingly damaging plagues upon Egypt. Egypt plagues are a type of the end time plagues that will be visited upon the earth for its wickedness just before the coming of Jesus and the deliverance of God’s people. Now is the time to put on the whole armor of God. Now is the time to help others understand the truth. May God bless you today as you listen.
As we begin today, let us pray. Our Father in heaven, how grateful we are that You have given so much to make it possible to have eternal life. We pray that we will not neglect so great a salvation. As we study today, send Your Holy Spirit to teach us about the end times. Help our minds to grasp what to expect as we approach this important hour. Give us more insight into Your will and Your working. In Jesus name, amen.
Turn in your Bibles to the 9th chapter of Exodus starting with verse 8.
“And the LORD said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh. And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt. And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast.”
From Patriarchs and Prophets, page 267, we find this statement.
“This act was deeply significant. Four hundred years before, God had shown to Abraham the future oppression of His people, under the figure of a smoking furnace and a burning lamp. He had declared that He would visit judgments upon their oppressors, and would bring forth the captives with great substance. In Egypt, Israel had long languished in the furnace of affliction. This act of Moses was an assurance to them that God was mindful of His covenant, and that the time for their deliverance had come.”
Even though the Egyptian economy was severely damaged by the death of all their cattle, they still refused to let Israel go. They should have known that a worst plague was coming if they did not obey. God sent a plague that seized upon their own bodies and made them so miserable that they even despaired of their lives.
If lesser judgments do not do their work, God will send greater judgments. Let us therefore humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God that His anger and judgments may be turned away from us. I wonder if God’s people today are really aware of the importance of obedience to God. They seem so indolent, so mindless of heavenly things that they are insensible to the purposes of God, and the preparation that needs to be made for the coming of the Lord and for the time of trouble ahead of us. God gave the experience to Israel and the Egyptians so we who live at the end of time will be reminded that the world cannot go on in rebellion, and as a reminder to get ready for the crisis ahead. For the very same principles will be in play. The arrogance of government leaders will lead them to persecution of God’s innocent and obedient people. Yield your heart to Jesus now while you still can.
As the ashes were thrown up toward heaven, and spread over the land of Egypt, painful boils came up on the skin of the people and the beasts that remained. The Egyptian taskmasters had inflicted the painful lash upon the Israelites for many years and oppressed them. Now God inflicts them with terrible itching and painful sores. Imagine, itch and pain at the same time. The ashes of the furnace made the Egyptians more terrified of God than their taskmasters had terrified the Israelites. The plague was designed to be seen as the result of the cruel bondage which consumed the Israelites in the furnace of affliction. Fire is the greatest of all germ destroyers, but the Lord demonstrated His power by doing the opposite, by producing disease germs from the ashes or the “soot of the furnace.”
These skin eruptions were common to everyone. They all had them. But these eruptions weren’t just simple boils, they were inflammations all over their bodies, like Job’s. It was afterward called the botch of Egypt, as if it was some new disease never heard of before, and ever afterward it was called by that name.
Exodus 9:11: “And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians.”
Diseases such as the blains, or boils were looked upon as the punishments as a result of sin, thus they called for repentance. The judgment past upon the magicians too so that they were punished for helping to harden Pharaoh’s heart and encouraging him in his stubbornness. They were also afflicted for attempting to discredit God by their enchantments.
God will severely deal with those that strengthen the hands of the wicked in their wickedness. The magicians were also punished for pretending to imitate the former plagues. When the judgments come, the devil can give no protection to those that are in confederacy with him. How weak were the enchantments of the magicians, which could not so much as protect themselves. Now, smitten with the loathsome and painful disease, they were no longer able to contend against the God of Israel. Their power was restrained before, but they continued to confront Moses, and confirm Pharaoh in his unbelief and rebellion, until this plague of boils. The magicians were forced to retreat and could not stand before Moses. The apostle Paul refers to, and makes a fitting representation of these magicians, when he says that their folly was made manifest unto all men. (2 Timothy 3:9)
Exodus 9:12: “And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had spoken unto Moses.”
Pharaoh had hardened his heart before and resisted the grace of God; and now God justly gave him up to his own heart’s lusts, to a reprobate mind, and strong delusions, permitting Satan to blind him and harden him. When a man has set his heart against God, everything that is designed to appeal to him, and to soften him, only makes him harder and more obstinate. It is really man in cooperation with Satan that hardens his heart. The operations of the spiritual realm on the heart are hard to understand, but it is clear that it is not wise to trifle with rebellion, for Satan will take advantage of you and control of you.
This is what Patriarchs and Prophets, page 268 has to say.
“There was no exercise of supernatural power to harden the heart of the king. God gave to pharaoh the most striking evidence of His divine power, but the monarch stubbornly refused to heed the light. Every display of infinite power rejected by him, rendered him the more determined in his rebellion. The seeds of rebellion that he sowed when he rejected the first miracle, produced their harvest. As he continued to venture on in his own course, going from one degree of stubbornness to another, his heart became more and more hardened, until he was called to look upon the cold, dead faces of the first born.”
This principle happens with every person on the planet. Those with more light and responsibility, end up with a worse situation than others. But persistent rebellion and sin leads to a hardened and insensitive heart to the Holy Spirit. Please don’t harden in your heart. I’ll continue reading.
“God speaks to men through His servants, giving cautions and warnings, and rebuking sin. He gives to each an opportunity to correct his errors before they become fixed in character; but if one refuses to be corrected, divine power does not interpose to counteract the tendency of his own action. He finds it more easy to repeat this same course. He is hardening the heart against the influence of the Holy Spirit. A further rejection of light places him where a far stronger influence will be ineffectual to make an abiding impression.
“He who has once yielded to temptation will yield more readily the second time. Every repetition of the sin lessens his power of resistance, blinds his eyes, and stifles conviction. Every seed of indulgence sown will bear fruit. God works no miracle to prevent the harvest. “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6:7 He who manifests an infidel hardihood, a stolid indifference to the divine truth, is but reaping the harvest of that which he has himself sown. It is thus that multitudes come to listen with stoical indifference to the truth that once stirred their very souls. They sowed neglect and resistance to the truth, and such is the harvest which they will reap.
“Those who are quieting a guilty conscience with the thought that they can change a course of evil when they choose, that they can trifle with the invitations of mercy, and yet again and again be impressed, take this course at their peril. They think that after casting all their influence on the side of the great rebel, in a moment of utmost extremity, when danger compasses them about, they will change leaders. But this is not so easily done. The experience, the education, the discipline of a life of sinful indulgence, has so thoroughly molded the character that they cannot then receive the image of Jesus. Had no light shone upon their pathway, the case would have been different. Mercy might interpose, and give them an opportunity to accept her overtures; but after light has been long rejected and despised, it will be finally withdrawn.”
This applies to institutions and churches too. Think about your church, or your institution. Is your church standing for liberty of conscience now when it is easier to do? Or are they waiting for a more opportune time for defending liberty? The habits gained now will work for or against them in the time of crisis. It is necessary to defend freedom of conscience early and often to establish a pattern. Of course, it will eventually lead to the crisis, but God will be pleased and defend His people when the crisis comes if they have long stood for liberty of conscience. If they have not stood for liberty of conscience in lesser matters, how will they have strength to stand in the final crisis? How will they have credibility with the world when they have not stood for liberty of conscience prior to the final assault on God’s people.
Let’s think about institutions. If they just go along with political or church leaders in order to gain their favor, how will they be able to stand on their own when the times demand it? They won’t be able to defend liberty of conscience either. Those who are looking for a way to conform to church policy to be accepted and approved, will find that they are left without a shelter or resources in the final crisis.
You can’t rely on any human system or agent to defend your religious liberty. They will inevitably fail you. You can rely on Christ alone. He is your only shelter now, and he will be your only shelter in the storm and crisis of the end times.
In Egypt there were several altars on which human sacrifices were offered in the time of plague and disease, the victim being burned alive. The ashes were gathered by the priests and thrown into the air and wherever they fell they were supposed to stop the ravages of the disease. Cunningham Geikie says, “The victims, after being burned alive on the high altar, their ashes were scattered in the air by the priests in belief that they would avert evil from all parts wither they were blown.”
Exodus 9:13-16: “And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me. For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth. For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth. And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.”
God is not to be trifled with. He expresses His wrath against Pharaoh for his obstinacy. God is doing to Pharaoh what Pharaoh did to the Israelites. Pharaoh demanded bricks, but he had denied the Israelites straw. Now God demands obedience but does not provide any grace or power to obey, because Pharaoh is in rebellion. God waits for Pharaoh to show some sign of softening in order to show him grace. He wants to reveal His long suffering, and forgiveness, even to the most hardened and unrepentant. Six times the demand had been made in vain, yet Moses must make it the seventh time: “Let my people go.” It’s as if the door of mercy is still open. But Pharaoh’s probation is quickly coming to an end.
God is essentially pulling out all the stops. He tells Pharaoh that He’s going to bring all His plagues on him and the nation. Up until now God has mingled grace and mercy with the plagues. He has only been giving Pharaoh mild measures. But Pharaoh has stubbornly resisted. Now God is going to bring out the heavy punishments. God’s providence had overruled events to give Pharaoh the throne at the very time for Israel’s deliverance. God had given Pharaoh existence and power for the purpose of letting God’s people go.
Patriarchs and Prophets, page 268 says the following.
“Though this haughty tyrant had by his crimes forfeited the mercy of God, yet his life had been preserved that through his stubbornness the Lord might manifest His wonders in the land of Egypt. Though disposing of events is of God’s Providence. He could have placed upon the throne a more merciful king, who would not have dared to withstand the mighty manifestations of divine power. But in that case the Lord’s purposes would not have been accomplished. His people were permitted to experience the grinding cruelty of the Egyptians, that they might not be deceived concerning the debasing influence of idolatry. In His dealing with Pharaoh, the Lord manifested His hatred of idolatry and His determination to punish cruelty and oppression.”
Rulers who rule the nations in opposition to God’s purposes will one day impose grinding cruelty upon God’s people. Canada, America and other Western countries are beginning to experience that now. As the nations become more secular and forgetting of God, they will eventually oppose God and His people because they are a reproof to the nation. Evil and sin does not want to be reproved. And anyone who does get “cancelled” and their voice is muted if possible. But God will work to arrange circumstances that bring the voice of reproof to the forefront. People will be given opportunity to see where the nation is headed. The reproof will be obvious. And it will make those who love their sin to react in hatred and violence.
America is already becoming this kind of beast. Revelation declares that it is a beast that starts out as a lamb but ends up as a dragon. Right now, America is on the way to being transformed into the dragon-like beast. The dragon is Satan in scripture. America is going to speak or act as Satan and seek to remove liberty and freedom of conscience. That is already happening. It’s only a matter of time until the issues change from a vaccine to a Sunday law. I hope you’re watching intently and praying.
The seventh plague was really serious. Moses was ordered to give a most dreadful message Pharaoh, whether he will hear it or whether he will forebear. Moses must tell him that he is marked for ruin, and that he now stands at the point at which God would shoot all the arrows of his wrath.
“Now I will send all my plagues…” Pharaoh has demonstrated that he has no place for repentance found in him, nothing can prevent his utter destruction, for only repentance would have prevented it. Now his case is desperate. “I will send all my plagues upon thy heart, not only temporal plagues upon thy body, but spiritual plagues upon thy soul.”
There are many plagues that God can send upon a person’s heart. He can send a plague of hopelessness. He can send the plague of deep fear. He can send a plague that makes the heart senseless to the Holy Spirit. These are the worst plagues. Physical plagues may be bad, but spiritual plagues are very depressing and soul destroying. Pharaoh has nothing to gain by further opposition and only more to lose. He must expect no respite, no cessation of arms, but to be followed with plague upon plague, till he is utterly consumed. And when God judges, man will be overcome; None ever hardened his heart against God and prospered.
Moses must also tell him that he is to remain in history as a standing monument of the justice and power of God’s wrath: “For this cause have I raised thee up to the throne at this time. The nations will just stand in shock when they see the plagues. They will see and tremble when I show in thee my power.” Providence had ordered it so that Moses should have a man of such a fierce and stubborn spirit as Pharaoh was to deal with; and everything was managed in this transaction as to make it a most signal and memorable instance of the power of God to humble and bring down the proudest of his enemies. Pharaoh was given opportunities, multiple opportunities, to yield to God’s will and repent of his sin, but he continued to resist and hardened his heart. Now God organizes everything to signalize this, that God’s name (that is, His incontestable sovereignty, His irresistible power, and His inflexible justice, or in essence, His character) might be declared throughout all the earth, not only to all places, but through all ages while the earth remains, even down to our own age at the end of time. Note that God sometimes allows very bad men to have power and honor and respect, and he spares them long, and suffers them to grow insufferably insolent and intolerant of God and His will, that He may be so much the more glorified in gaining the victory.
So why are America and other nations allowed to expand evil? It is to reveal the nature of Satan’s deceptions and at the same time provide the basis for God’s mighty deliverance of His people. Notice how the neighboring nations understood the ruin of Pharaoh to the glory of God. For instance, Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, commented on this very issue in saying, Exodus 18:11: “Now know I that the Lord is greater than all gods.”
Notice the question that Moses asks Pharaoh in chapter 9 verse 17: “As yet exaltest thou thyself against my people, that thou wilt not let them go?”
Pharaoh is a great king. God’s people were poor shepherds at best, and now poor slaves; and yet Pharaoh would be ruined if he exalted himself against them, for it is considered as though he is exalting himself against God. This is not the first time that God reproved kings for His people’s sake. He let them know that He would not allow His people to be trampled upon and insulted forever, no, not even by the most powerful of them. He has to prove to men that He is more powerful than the most arrogant of them and that they should remain humble.
Moses then tells Pharaoh of the next plague and graciously gives Pharaoh fair warning of it and what to do about it to preserve life. It’s in Exodus 9:18-21: “Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now. Send therefore now, and gather thy cattle, and all that thou hast in the field; for upon every man and beast which shall be found in the field, and shall not be brought home, the hail shall come down upon them, and they shall die. He that feared the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses: And he that regarded not the word of the LORD left his servants and his cattle in the field.”
Moses gives Pharaoh instructions so that his people and his remaining beasts can live. When God’s justice threatens ruin, His mercy, at the same time, shows us a way of escape from it. He is very unwilling that any of us should perish. God takes care to distinguish not only between the Israelites and the Egyptians, but between the Egyptians themselves. If Pharaoh will not yield, and so prevent the judgment itself, still an opportunity is given to those that have any dread of God, or respect for His word, to save themselves from sharing in the judgment.
Those that take the warning may take shelter; and those that will not take the warning will not be preserved. Those that don’t take the warning only have themselves to blame.
All of Egypt was under a “refuge of lies.” Pharaoh and the magicians had lied to the people and told them that Moses’ God was making empty threats. They made him out to be weak and less powerful than the Egyptian gods. The Egyptian people were living in a system of lies that kept them under control while Israel was kept under control by brute force, by the cruel lash.
Does that sound familiar to what we experience today? The world is full of blatant lies. And people believe them. And really, at the end of time only the people that are truly willing to study the word and know God for themselves will be undeceived. The world is under the same “refuge of lies,” the same tyranny that Egypt was. They think they can take comfort and have safety in lies. Those that speak truth to power are shoved to side. And those lies will not protect them when the trouble comes as an overwhelming surprise.
The Bible warns us not to fall for lies, for when they are swept away we will be left without a refuge in the coming mega-storm. Isaiah 28:17 says: “The hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies…”
Fortunately, God sees it all, and knows it all. He knows the future, and He has been gracious enough to tell His people what is going to happen and what they need to know to prepare for the crisis and avoid the destruction that is coming on the wicked. If they obey His voice, there is nothing that can harm them. But the wicked will find out too late that they believed in lies. They vainly thought they had a refuge. Only the destruction will sweep away their delusion and determined rebellion.
Some of the Egyptian people believed the things that were spoken, and they feared, and housed their servants and cattle. Even among Pharaohs servants there were some that trembled at God’s word. It was like in Noah’s time, and it was their wisdom to obey God, or to follow His directions. But like in Noah’s time, they refused to enter into the ark. Each home became an “ark of safety.” Humanity cannot see the future, nor can it understand that God can do things that are new and unusual.
So will it be at the end of time. God will give ample opportunity for people to break free of the lies and delusions. Those that fear God will be preserved in the “ark of safety.” Those that do not will be destroyed. It’s really very simple. Follow the Bible as you can depend on it for your life. Refuge in the word of God is our only hope of survival.
But some of the people did not regard the word of God nor believe what He said even though Moses had warned them of the plague. They had previous plagues by which to base their decision. They knew that what God said through Moses was going to come to pass. So, they made their decision to disregard God’s counsel in the full light and knowledge of His will. It will be the same at the end of time. The world will have full light and knowledge of God’s will. Yet, they will still refuse to comply with His counsel. The reason for the destruction of the wicked at the end of time, is because they have refused to accept the will of God, and stubbornly walked in their own way.
Even if the Egyptians didn’t believe God’s word through Moses, it would have been prudent to bring the cattle and the servants under roof for just one day. If they had reason to question the prediction, they can still have a wait-and-see attitude and save themselves by obedience, whatever the motive. It would not damage them very much to bring the cattle and their servants inside. If they doubted at all, they could have chosen the safe course. Yet they were so foolhardy to be in defiance to the truth, and the power of God. They had experience with both to their own hurt.
Pharaoh himself gave them an example of presumption. They should have realized that following his example would be to their destruction. Obstinate infidelity, which is deaf to the fairest of warnings and the wisest counsels, leaves the blood of those that perish upon their own heads.
The next day Moses was instructed to bring on the plague. Exodus 9:22-25:
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt. And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt. So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation. And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field.”
Notice that the hail was summoned by the powerful hand and rod of Moses and it obeys the summons or rather the divine command; for fire and hail fulfill God’s word. Psalm 148:8 says: ”Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word.”
And what devastation in destruction it made upon the earth! The thunder, and fire from heaven (or lightning), made it both more dreadful and more destroying. God makes the clouds, not only his storehouses from whence he drops rain on the earth, but the clouds are also His magazines from whence, when He pleases, He can draw out a most formidable train of artillery come with which to destroy His enemies.
From Patriarchs and Prophets, page 269, we read: “Rain or hail was unusual in Egypt, such a storm as was foretold had never been witnessed. The report spread rapidly, and all who believe the word of the Lord gathered in their cattle, while those who despised the warning left them in the field. Thus in the midst of judgment the mercy of God was displayed, the people were tested, and it was shown how many had been led to the fear of God by the manifestation of His power.”
God himself speaks of the treasures of hail which he hath reserved against the day of battle and war. Job 38:22, 23 says: “Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?
Terrible and woeful havoc this hail made in the land of Egypt. It killed both men and cattle, and battered down, not only the herbs, but the trees. The corn that was above ground was destroyed, and that only preserved which as yet had not come up. Chapter 9, verse 31 and 32: “And the flax and the barley was smitten: for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was bolled. But the wheat and the rie were not smitten: for they were not grown up.”
God has many ways of taking away the corn in the season thereof (Hosea 2:9), either buy a quiet disease, or a noisy hail. In this plague the lighting, as well as the hail, destroyed their flocks. Psalms 78:48: “He gave up their cattle also to the hail, and their flocks to hot thunderbolts.”
Psalms 105:32, 33: “He gave them hail for rain, and flaming fire in their land. He smote their vines also and their fig trees; and brake the trees of their coasts.”
And perhaps David eludes to this when, describing God’s appearances for the punishment of His enemies, he speaks of the hailstones and coals of fire He threw among them. Psalms 18;12, 13: “At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire. The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.”
At the end of time there is a similar plague that falls upon the wicked at the very end. It is part of the seventh plague among the seven last plagues. Revelation 16:21: “And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.”
The wicked will become very angry about the hail because it will be exceedingly great. When wicked men get angry, they blaspheme God and curse and swear. This plague will draw out their worst anger because they cannot but recognize that it is a plague of God. And they hate God.
Notice how heavy the hail is. If you know anything about the formation of hail, you know that the hail is formed by up and down motion high up in the atmosphere. As the hail gets heavier it begins to fall, but then the wind picks it up again and takes it up higher into the atmosphere, and it forms another layer of ice. This continues until it’s so heavy that the wind can’t lift it up anymore. So the heavier the hail is the harder it hits the ground, revealing something about the violence of the storm above. If this hail is the weight of a talent, that is; roughly 130 pounds, or 59 kilograms, that’s pretty heavy hail. In fact, that’s enormous. If you’re hit by one of those hailstones you cannot survive. Not only are they heavy, but they are effectively missiles accelerated by the pull of gravity. You can see why men in rebellion to God will become extremely angry and will blaspheme Him. And they will turn on His people.
Now let’s read Exodus 9:26: “Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail.”
The land of Goshen was again separated and carved out from the rest of Egypt. The land of Goshen was protected and did not receive any damage by this plague. God directed the clouds to cause it to rain down hail on only the Egyptians, not on the Hebrews. He has precise control over the elements. How some people can say there is no God tells you that they have never read the Bible, or don’t believe it. God can use the clouds and other elements of nature for a blessing and a protection for some and a judgment and destruction to others.
Pharaoh’s response is very interesting. He trembled before the plague of judgment.
Exodus 9:27, 28: “And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time: the LORD is righteous, and I and my people are wicked. Intreat the LORD (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail; and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer.”
Pharaoh is in great consternation. The hail had quite an effect on him. He humbled himself to Moses in the language of a penitent. No man could have spoken better. He portrays himself on the wrong side of his contest with the God of the Hebrews. And he admits that the Lord is righteous and that he is very wrong and has done wickedly. He sees the plague as a judgment on him for his wickedness. He admits that he deserves what has been done to him. And he begs for the prayers of Moses and tells him that he will yield up his prisoners.
The terror of the rod often extorts an acknowledgment from those who have no real penitence. While they are smarting under affliction they say that which is necessary to relieve them of the suffering, not because they are deeply affected, but because they know that they should be and that it is necessary to say the right thing. Moses becomes an intercessor for him with God, though he had all the reason in the world to think that he would immediately repent of his repentance, and Moses told him so. Yet Moses promises to be his friend in the court of heaven anyway.
Exodus 9 verse 29 and 30: “And Moses said unto him, As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands unto the LORD; and the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail; that thou mayest know how that the earth is the LORD’S. But as for thee and thy servants, I know that ye will not yet fear the LORD God.”
Now observe that Moses had traveled to the palace and then out of the city to pray. He was not just going out there for privacy for his intercession in communion with God. He was showing Pharaoh that while he is confined to his palace and all the surviving Egyptians are indoors, Moses walks through the hail and lightning and doesn’t get hit. He is not afraid. This was amazing to the Egyptians. But it wasn’t to Moses. He knew that God directed every hailstone, and that he would be safe, because God meant him no harm. Peace with God makes men thunder proof, for thunder is the voice of God. A righteous man is hail proof. He is earthquake proof. He is storm proof. If God protects a man, anything can happen, but it won’t affect him.
Listen to this from Patriarchs and Prophets, page 270. “The prophet went forth, unheeding the fury of the tempest, and Pharaoh and all his host were witnesses to the power of Jehovah to preserve His messenger.”
Thus, Moses is a type of the people of God in the last days. The people of God will see the destruction and desolation of the wicked, and of the earth, but it will not come nigh them. They will be protected from the violence and destruction of the plagues that fall upon humanity for their rebellion to God and His law. This signal protection of God’s people is a powerful witness to God’s love and loyalty to those who have loved Him and been loyal to Him and kept His law.
Listen to this from Great Controversy, page 614. “When He leaves the sanctuary, darkness covers the inhabitants of the earth. In that fearful time the righteous must live in the sight of a holy God without an intercessor. The restraint which has been upon the wicked is removed, and Satan has entire control of the finally impenitent. God’s long-suffering has ended. The world has rejected His mercy, despised His love, and trampled upon His law. The wicked have passed the boundary of their probation; the Spirit of God, persistently resisted, has been at last withdrawn. Unsheltered by divine grace, they have no protection from the wicked one. Satan will then plunge the inhabitants of the earth into one great, final trouble. As the angels of God cease to hold in check the fierce winds of human passion, all the elements of strife will be let loose. The whole world will be involved in ruin more terrible than that which came upon Jerusalem of old.
“A single angel destroyed all the first-born of the Egyptians and filled the land with mourning… The same destructive power exercised by holy angels when God commands, will be exercised by evil angels when He permits. There are forces now ready, and only waiting the divine permission, to spread desolation everywhere.”
And from page 627, we read: “When Christ ceases His intercession in the sanctuary, the unmingled wrath threatened against those who worship the beast and his image and receive his mark (Revelation 14:9, 10), will be poured out. The plagues upon Egypt when God was about to deliver Israel were similar in character to those more terrible and extensive judgments which are to fall upon the world just before the final deliverance of God’s people.”
Notice what Patriarchs and Prophets says about Pharaoh’s humility. Page 270: “Moses knew that the contest was not ended. Pharaoh’s confessions and promises were not the effect of any radical change in his mind or heart, but were wrung from him by terror and anguish.”
Exodus 9:33: “And Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread abroad his hands unto the LORD: and the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured upon the earth.”
Notice that Moses spread abroad his hands unto the Lord. This is an outward expression of earnest desire and humble expectation. Those who come to God for mercy must stand ready to receive it.
God has many methods by which to bring men to their proper senses. Judgments are sent, judgments are removed, and all for the same purpose, to make men know that the Lord reigns. “That thou mayest know that the earth is the Lord’s.” Chapter 9 verse 29.
The Lord has sovereign dominion over all creatures. They are ruled by him. And they obey His voice implicitly. Moses could not prevail with Pharaoh because he hardened his heart, but he could prevail with God who is merciful and long suffering.
We can’t expect any more from human governments. There will be no mercy, no discretionary power over the law. The laws will be rigid and stringently enforced. But there is mercy with God who overrules human laws. Human laws may condemn God’s people. But God who sees everything, who knows the motives of every heart, will know His people and preserve them through the chaos and destruction and desolation all around them. Isn’t God wonderful? Don’t you want to be united with him in the time of trouble?
Listen to this from Prophets and Kings, page 184. “Thus the world will become mine. I will be the ruler of the earth, the prince of the world. I will so control the minds under my power that God’s Sabbath shall be a special object of contempt. A sign? I will make the observance of the seventh day a sign of disloyalty to the authorities of earth. Human laws will be made so stringent that men and women will not dare to observe the seventh-day Sabbath. For fear of wanting food and clothing, they will join with the world in transgressing God’s law. The earth will be wholly under my dominion.”
The prayer of Moses moved heaven like the prayers of Elijah hundreds of years later. And just think, your prayers, if you are faithful to the Lord, and keep his law, will be just as powerful as Moses’ and Elijah’s. They will move heaven when necessary for God’s people. While Moses was ineffective in appealing to Pharaoh, so will your appeals to human powers also be ineffective. You will have to rely on God alone.
Exodus 9:34, 35:
“And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go; as the LORD had spoken by Moses.”
Pharaoh was frightened into compliance by the judgment, but, when it was over, his convictions vanished, and his fair promises were forgotten. Promises and confessions under stress are not to be given much credit. So, watch out. When men give promises under pressure, they will likely back out. They are unreliable.
Those who are not made better by judgments and mercies are commonly made much worse. And this will be the way it will be at the end of time. Expect no mercy from angry rulers or judges. The only mercy will come from God through deliverance by some mechanism over which He rules, or by deliverance on that Bright Day.
Let us pray. Our Father in heaven, we are greatly impressed by the lessons we have learned today. We want to be in heaven with Jesus. We want to be overcomers. And we want to be ready for the time of trouble. We put ourselves in Your hands and ask You to do that work for us that we cannot do for ourselves. Please make us loyal to You and Your law, that we may see Your mighty hand of protection and deliverance. Sanctify us, and give us Your holiness. In Jesus name, amen.
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